Yukiro shows best with light roasting, where floral sweetness is found, panela and cane sugar, raw honey, along with notes of limeade, lemon grass tea, and a flavor of apricot Hefeweizen in the finish. City to City+. Marked down 10% to make room for new lots.
Yukiro Cooperative was once part of an initiative in Ethiopia focused on working directly at the coop level. Administered by a non-government organization, they helped the cooperative with coordinating agronomists, managers, and with business advisors to helps the cooperative manage their debt, re-invest in quality improvements at the mill, and verifies distribution of income to all members. This is a key position; I have never known a coop to get this kind of expert advice from outside ... not in Africa at least. A cooperative can make all kinds of quality improvements, turn out fantastic coffee, and sink deeper in debt all the while. Cooperatives often fail to return a fair and full amount of payment to their farmer-members. Often this is from poor management, and sometimes from graft as well. The ultimate goal of the program is to get the cooperatives they work with to the point of self sustainability, which Yukiro has now achieved. Because of this work and the resulting transparency of the organization, we can verify that the great price we paid will result in a fair distribution of funds, a better managed coop, investment in the mill, and even better coffee next year. The farms are in Goma Woreda, with altitudes between 1900 to 2100 meters. Yukiro currently has 520 members (170 female members), and have improved their beds and warehouse capacity in the last year, as well as installed a new Penagos 2500 coffee pulper.
Light roasting is best suited for this year's lot of Yukiro. We tried 3 different roast levels for this review, including a Full City roast, which produced roast tones that all but completely overshadowed the inherent top note complexity found at City and City+ roast levels. The dry fragrance at City has a delicate floral note, with subtle fruited allusions, and a clover honey smell underneath. The brewed coffee really shines at City and City+, where the most clarity in profile flavors and aroma are found. Acidity is on the citric side, a tart lemon mouthfeel props up the delicate top notes found in the cup, as does an underlying raw sugar sweetness. When hot, this underlying sweetness reads like raw cane sugar, simple and refined. As the cup cools, a retronasal aspect perfumes the cup, and more aromatic sugars come to mind: panela, cane juice, and raw honey. Citrus fruit notes come into focus, sweetened limeade, and a lemon grass tea note in flavor and aroma. A faint apricot juice note also comes into play in the warm cup adding a tart, fruited sweetness, that along with a hoppy floral note gives an impression of apricot Hefeweizen beer in the finish. It's important to point out that Yukiro is subtle, restrained, and I found that the flavors mentioned above to be most easily discernible at City roast level and when the cup temperature cools off from brew temp. At 200 F, it's generally hard to taste much beyond sweetness and bittering coffee tones in any coffee. But Yukiro's profile in particular benefits from cooling off 30 degrees or more after brewing, unlocking an inherent delicate complexity.